Sheree Boulet, DrPH, MPH, from Emory University School of Medicine, and coauthors conducted a population-based study of pregnant women who delivered at a large public hospital in Atlanta, GA and identified demographic and clinical predictors of postpartum blood pressure (BP) screening attendance among women with HDP. They found that women with preeclampsia with severe features were more likely to attend a BP visit than women with gestational hypertension. Furthermore, rates of BP screening attendance were lower for women with inadequate and intermediate prenatal care utilization compared to women with adequate prenatal care utilization.
“These findings suggest that we have a long way to go in improving BP screening attendance,” state the authors. “Addressing the gap in postpartum BP screening will require creative solutions to address barriers at the individual-, provider-, and systems-levels.”
“Despite the ACOG recommendation that women with HDP undergo BP screening within 7-10 days of delivery, the women have to show up for this visit. This study demonstrates the missed opportunity to screen these high-risk women and avoid the potentially serious complications of postpartum hypertension,” says Journal of Women’s Health Editor-in-Chief Susan G. Kornstein, MD, Executive Director of the Virginia Commonwealth University Institute for Women’s Health, Richmond, VA.
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